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Executive Director

  • Requisition no: 525744
  • Work type: Full Time
  • Location: Morningside
  • School/Department: School of International and Public Affairs
  • Grade: Ungraded
  • Categories: General Administration
  • Job Type: Officer of Administration
  • Bargaining Unit:
  • Regular/Temporary: Regular
  • End Date if Temporary:
  • Hours Per Week: 35
  • Salary Range: commensurate with experience

Position Summary

The Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs (CGEP) has an immediate opening for an Executive Director. CGEP’s mission is to enable public and private sector leaders to make more informed choices about the world’s most pressing energy issues by providing an independent and interdisciplinary platform for insights and data-driven analysis, convening and information-sharing, education and training, and actionable recommendations on the current and future global energy system.

Reporting to the Center’s Founding Director and co-founding-Dean, Columbia Climate School, the incoming Executive Director will lead the daily operations of the Center and play a leading role in guiding its strategic growth during an exciting time of planning and development. The person will work closely with, and develop, the Center’s leadership team.


  • Lead the day-to-day management and operations of the Center, including development, finance, human resources, publications, communications, special projects, and events.
  • Oversee a total team of 75 individuals with the following direct reports: a Chief of Staff; a Senior Executive Assistant; Director, Special Projects; Director of Finance and Administration; Director, Women in Energy; Director of Research Publications; Senior Director of Development; and Senior Director, Communications, Events, and Legislative Affairs.
  • Manage the Center’s growing annual budget of $17 million, prioritizing funding for maximum impact.
  • Build an inclusive, supportive, and rewarding culture.
  • Work with the Founding Director and officers of research to organize and execute the research portfolio of the Center.
  • Collaborate with the Founding Director to continue to position the Center for rapid growth over the next three to five years.
  • Partner with the Founding Director to engage the external Advisory Board.
  • Collaborate with the Founding Director and the Academic Steering Committee to deepen the integration of CGEP with faculty across Columbia University.
  • Engage with University leadership from SIPA, the Climate School, Earth Institute, Engineering School, Law School, Business School, Provost Office, Alumni and Development, and elsewhere on collaborations that deepen engagement across faculty and students.
  • Play a leading role in overseeing team members’ work planning and professional development.
  • Provide strategic consultation to academic programs and research centers as needed.
  • Engage with the media, policymakers, academics, donors, and other outside stakeholders.
  • Provide oversight, guidance, and support to projects of high importance.
  • Organize and prioritize critical issues and required information to facilitate efficient decision-making.
  • Lead with integrity and maintain the highest standards of confidentiality.


Minimum Qualifications

  • A Bachelor's degree and at least fifteen years of related leadership experience.
  • Demonstrated entrepreneurial experience, including formulating and executing a strategic plan in support of growing and scaling an organization’s staff, budget, activity, and impact.
  • Facility with large budgets and a record of effectively allocating resources.
  • Proven experience both exercising strategic thinking and deploying resources for implementation purposes. An ability to conceptualize and deliver is essential.
  • Excellent interpersonal, relationship-building, and communication skills. The person must possess the executive presence, gravitas, energy, and confidence to develop internal and external relationships with diverse constituencies, including faculty; staff; industry, nonprofit, and public sector partners; and colleagues across a complex institution. Ability to build strong and collaborative relationships and to communicate crisply and clearly in writing and orally are essential. Being able to tell a story in a persuasive manner is important.
  • Demonstrated ability to build trust and rapport with others authentically.
  • A dynamic presence and the desire to engage with leaders and researchers from diverse fields within energy and energy policy.
  • A high level of emotional intelligence with the ability to adapt to changing circumstances, respond to stress, and manage conflict. The person must navigate complexity and different personalities, function independently, and exercise diplomacy, discretion, and judgement with humor and grace.  
  • A commitment to policies and practices that promote sustainable energy systems, the energy transition, and the protection of Earth’s natural resources.
  • Demonstrated leadership practices that foster diversity, equity, and inclusion within an organization, and a history of promoting initiatives and practices that support scholars and practitioners from underrepresented groups.
  • Proven success in developing and motivating internal teams, especially those consisting of world-class researchers and thought leaders. Excellent decision-making and delegating abilities paired with a collegial, inclusive, and consensus-building approach to implementing change.
  • A sense of humor is vital.

Preferred Qualifications

  • An advanced degree (M.A., M.B.A., J.D., Ph.D.).
  • Experience working in higher education.
  • Experience with issues central to CGEP activities (energy policy, climate change, international security, economics, etc.).


Equal Opportunity Employer / Disability / Veteran

Columbia University is committed to the hiring of qualified local residents.

Applications open: Eastern Daylight Time
Applications close:

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